LGBTQ+ voices were heard in Annapolis this year. Due to the hard work of advocates, partner organizations, and legislators, our community claimed two large victories in the 2018 General Assembly session. With the passage of the Ending Youth Homelessness Act, additional resources, housing, and supportive services will be provided to more than 2,000 unaccompanied youth experiencing homelessness across our state – a staggering amount of whom identify as LGBTQ.
Maryland is close to becoming the twelfth state in the nation to prohibit conversion therapy for LGBTQ minors. After passage in both chambers of the General Assembly by wide margins and with bipartisan support, the bill heads to Governor Hogan’s desk. You can encourage the Governor to sign the bill by visiting here.
After the bill’s passage in the Senate, Delegate Meagan Simonaire (R-Anne Arundel County), broke with party lines and addressed the House floor with passionate remarks in support of the bill. She shared, “What is not broken, cannot be fixed.” In her remarks, she shared with the House that she was bisexual and personally experienced the pain associated with not being accepted by for who she is. We applaud and honor Delegate Simonaire’s courage. While the primary purpose of this bill is to protect the estimated hundreds of LGBTQ youth who would be subjected to conversion therapy in Maryland in the coming years from potential harm, it also is a public affirmation from Maryland to kids across our state that they are perfect as they are. Delegate Simonaire’s impassioned words and personal exmaple on the House floor send an equally strong message.
A huge thank you to the volunteers, partners, advocates, and legislators who helped draft legislation, testified at committee hearings, attended lobby days, sent emails, and made phone calls to ensure the progress we’ve made this session. You can read a complete legislative breakdown and learn where we’ve made progress at our website.
FreeState Justice Jazz Brunch – June 2, 11 am at the Maryland Historical Society
LGBTQ Forum for MD Gubernatorial Candidates – April 28, 4 pm at Loverly Lane Methodist Church (hosted by the GLCCB and the Maryland Pride Foundation)